We round up the reviews for the stage production based on the comedy series now playing for a limited time at the Prince of Wales Theatre.
The Guardian: ★ “It is momentarily thrilling to see the “royals” on stage, resplendent in ermine and waxed jackets, against the backdrop of Madeleine Girling’s palatial sets. But the jokes fall short of the dark imagination and quick intelligence of the Channel 4 series, which is a cross between Dead Ringers and The Crown, with deliciously surreal plotlines and pointed political comedy.”
Time Out: “Beyond that: it’s a solidly silly couple of hours with a few big laughs. It pulls off the high wire act of neither being particularly mean about any of the Royals (Andrew aside) nor overly cosy about them – hardcore stans of the monarchy aside, it’s hard to see how your personal view on the IRL Windsors would have much bearing on your enjoyment.”
Chortle.co.uk: ★★★ 1/2 “With a strong sense of impish contempt throughout, every real-life reference is warmly received, from Andrew’s Pizza Express alibi (‘Woking’ is rhymed with ‘groping’ in the lyrics) to the reported bad blood between Meghan and Kate.”
The Stage: ★★★ “Harry Enfield and Tracy-Ann Oberman star in an amusing stage version of the television comedy, undermined by unsatisfying staging and weak musical numbers.”
London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★★ “The exaggerated British humour in The Windsors: Endgame won’t be for everyone. But then remember that Channel 4 – its television home – is designed to be a channel for alternative programming. The stage show captures this zingy wackiness, and Michael Fentiman’s direction captures the zeitgeist of a nation locked down for nearly 18 months who just want to laugh at something stupid.”
Theatre Weekly: ★★★★ “The Windsors: Endgame might not be the West End’s crowning glory but as an irreverent, very naughty, and laugh out loud comedy, it works.”
Evening Standard: ★★★ “Michael Fentiman’s production almost flaunts its shoddiness. A lot of its comedy relies on extrapolating posh accents to the point where they make no coherent sense.”
iNews: ★★ “The cast work hard and make the most of the sharper lines. But it’s a sniggering, cheap show, far too fond of its bunch of royal wasters ever to be genuinely subversive.”
The Daily Mail: ★★★★ “Given our national relish for both monarchy and rude jokes, what can I say? This one will reign and reign.”
West End Wilma: ★★★ “Whilst the first half of the show is offensively funny, it is just making fun of what we see in the news. Sadly the second act takes a sour turn and steps over the line from poking fun to being nasty. It literally becomes a pantomime, when a sign is held up on stage, telling the audience to ‘boo’ Camilla. It just all becomes a bit ridiculous.”
Broadway World: ★★★★ “What’s most impressive about this show is that it feels refreshingly up to date. On the day Prince Andrew was served with a lawsuit from America, jokes about that were written in. Even though it is ultimately messy in its form, that’s part of its charm.”
The Arts Desk: ★★★ “Popular TV show gets a sometimes riotous stage perch”
The Windsors: Endgame continues to play at the Prince of Wales Theatre until 9 October 2021.